A Dreamy 400-Square-Foot Fort Greene Studio Apartment

updated Mar 1, 2019
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Name: Emily Schildt, Co-Founder of Thing of Wonder
Location: Fort Greene — Brooklyn, New York
Size: 400 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year

Emily’s apartment is all the proof you need that living in a small space doesn’t have to mean going short on style, and that with a little ingenuity a smaller space can live just as well as a much larger one. She’s fit a full-sized bed, a comfy living room, plenty of storage, and even a full-sized dining table into her 400 square foot studio apartment in Brooklyn — and made it all look so good that you’ll want to move in yourself.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)
(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)

Contrary to popular wisdom, which dictates that the bed should be as far from the door as possible, Emily has arranged her bed right inside the unit’s front door, flanking the living area in the apartment’s main space, which enjoys lovely light and enviably tall ceilings.

This frees up the room between the front room and the kitchen for a full-sized dining table, something Emily, a frequent entertainer, considers essential.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Comfortable, fun, eclectic. I love using my home as a reflection of my collective tastes, interests and life experiences.

Inspiration: Apartment Therapy, of course, and too many hours spent on Pinterest. Despite being an East Coast native, I’m inspired by the relaxed, living/lived-in feel of West Coast homes: plants, natural tones, lots of white and light…

Favorite Element: The fireplace! If only it were working…

Biggest Challenge: The layout of this apartment is tricky because the alcove, where the bedroom would typically be, is off the kitchen, which I thought strange. And, it was important to me to have a formal dining room for entertaining. I put the dining room in the alcove, making use of the close proximity to the kitchen, which meant I had to play with the floorplan for my living/sleeping space a bit. Ultimately, I put the bed next to the fireplace, which I like, but does mean it is right in front of the front door as you enter.

What Friends Say: When my friends come over, they say they feel at home, which is really the best compliment you can give, I think.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Biggest Embarrassment: My first DIY is my favorite, but it’s incomplete, unfortunately. After all that sanding and staining and painting, I got tired and just couldn’t finish the last panel. It remains unfinished today, noticeably.

Proudest DIY: My first DIY, the dresser behind the couch. I sanded and stained two $40 IKEA dressers, painted the drawers white, and replaced the knobs with turquoise ones from Anthropologie. But really, any DIY accomplished in such a small space deserves praise!

Biggest Indulgence: It was very important to me to have a full size dining table so I could host friends for dinner and post-farmers market brunches, so I was happy to indulge on this item. It expands to seat 8+ (and it makes my heart so happy to have that many people in my studio!). Worth every penny.

(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)

Best Advice: Don’t worry about what other people like or if something “goes” in your space. There are no rules. Your home should be a reflection of the things you find interesting and give you comfort. You’ll be surprised to find it all comes together.

Dream Sources: Matter (!!!), The Future Perfect, ABC Carpet + Home, homenature, Designers Guild, SCP, Monologue (basically every interiors store in London), Room & Board, Schoolhouse Electric

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)
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Emily’s 400 square foot Brooklyn studio apartment. (Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Thanks, Emily!

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